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Publisher's Summary

An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one, grisly solution; a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.

First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America's bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for The Stranger.

©1934 James M. Cain (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A good, swift, violent story." (Dashiell Hammett)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tucci's performance of "Postman" is exquisite!

I have long been a huge fan of James M. Cain, having read several times his best novels: The Postman Always Rings Twice; Double Indemnity; and Mildred Pierce. Stanley Tucci's reading of The Postman Always Rings Twice was absolutely terrific! His intonations, accents, emphases, pauses--every aspect of his performance is spot on, as he catches subtle nuances that a less sensitive reader might easily miss. I cannot overemphasize how satisfying this audio version of Cain's classic novel is. First-rate, in every way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cain always good

It's hard to go wrong with this one. good narration. great noir/existential story. a classic and another that i can return to and enjoy many times. Cain is great and look forward to newly discovered Waitress.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good but frustrating

struggled to understand which character was speaking some of the time because of the speaker.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

old fashioned noir

authentic old fashioned, non pc noir story that reminds us that crime does not pay, at least not for long.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hard to Follow Performace

Never read the book and haven’t seen the movie version yet. I enjoyed the story, but Stanley Tucci doesn’t give a great performance of the material. Another reviewer already commented it was hard to tell a lot of the time who was talking. He gives accents to two of the characters, but the two main ones, male and female, talk back and forth a lot and there is no different of inflection between the two.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

I was amazed at how brief, but packed this book was...I had heard about it for years, but never read it..Sparse, evocative, brutal and heart-wrenching...Stanley Gucci gave a no-nonsense, expert reading..no frills, straight to the bone...Noir at it's best...I'll be reading the rest of McCain...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE

I chose this book because I had to read it for class. I didn't know I would really fall in love with the story. Stanley Tucci is such an amazing actor that when I saw he was narrating I instantly got excited. 100% overall.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Postman Always Rings Twice

This is another book or movie I have not read or seen, respectively. Since it was short, I took it out of my usual turn of reading and read it. I was surprised by the content. I look forward to seeing the movie on TCM.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Ew

The characters are unlikable and detached. The main character's decisions don't make any sense. And the similes, omg... the worst I've heard. 'She looked like the great-grandmother of every whore in the world' is supposed to be sexy? 'Her breasts were two pink splotches?' In addition, there's the typical '30s casual racism and sexism, and the main character exists solely for male fantasies of being a tough-guy drifter who bangs a lot of women.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Twists, Turns, More Twists, More Turns.

Good gravy! This short novel features so many twists and turns it's like driving on a curvy mountain road full of switchbacks. Who is the protagonist in this book? No one, but that's the essence of this genre, isn't it.
Hot dogs? A beer garden? Jungle cats? A crooked lawyer named Katz? A strumpet? A drifter? A swarthy Greek? Car accidents? Check, check and double check! They're all here...and MORE!
It's as hard boiled and noir as can be. In fact, it just might define both of those categories. Surprisingly, a lot of rather graphic sexual imagery, too, especially since it was originally published in 1934.
Stanley Tucci's performance is spot on. His voice ties this twisty-turny plot together perfectly. If you don't expect a straight line, beginning-middle-end story, you'll find this audio book well worth your 2-1/2 hours.